30 Costly Scandals Of Business & Financial Fraud

Elizabeth Holmes was the CEO of Theranos. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Theranos

In 2003, an ambitious and manipulative young woman named Elizabeth Holmes claimed to have invented a technology that would provide blood tests for multiple diseases with just a small amount of blood. She launched a startup called Teranos in Silicon Valley along with other tech companies. At the moment, it takes an entire vile of blood just to test for one illness at a time. So of Theranos could fulfill their promise, it would have been a revolutionary medical technology.

The former Theranos headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Credit: Shutterstock

Holmes raised over $700 million from investors, and the company was valued at $9 billion by 2013 thanks to her efforts. People were so impressed that politicians, hospitals, and patients all got on board to see what Theranos could do. However, this was all just a front. Elizabeth Holmes was a teenage girl with a bright idea, but absolutely no way of actually making that technology a reality.

She hired a huge team of scientists, yet none of them could invent these magical blood tests that she promised the world. In 2018, Holmes had to go to court to answer for fraud charges. If you want to know more about the story, there’s an HBO documentary series called The Inventor: Out For Blood in Silicon Valley. There’s also a book called Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, and an upcoming movie, all due to Holmes’ false claims.